How in the world is it August already? Why do I literally always start ALL of my blog posts freaking wondering why and how it got to be whatever day/month it is?
Awhile ago we were going through the stuff I’d left in my mom’s garage, getting ready for a garage sale, when I found a letter from September 2014 that I’d addressed to myself to be read in September 2015.
I read it and felt a sinking feeling in my heart. It was encouraging myself to keep on keeping on with stuff I’d turned around in my life: emotions, managing my weight, paying off my debt and working on my blog.
It was like reading a list of all the ways I’ve failed. emotions, weight, debt, this blog.
So I cried about that, because ugh. There’s nobody to blame but myself. All of those unaddressed issues in my life leave me feeling pretty worthless as a person.
Having literally ALL DAY to be in charge of my seconds, minutes and hours makes all of that even worse. I COULD be being more intentional about caring for myself, I COULD be taking time to eat better and/or exercise, I COULD be way more diligent with my finances and I COULD spend time at my computer writing blog posts.
I do all the other easy things.
I honestly feel like there’s a weird switch that’s been flipped in my being where I just can’t seem to make the best decisions for myself. and I keep thinking “well if only ________,” but that thing never happens or matters or anything.
I love and miss you little corner of the internet. Thanks for always being here.
Lately I’ve had a few people come up to me and say “you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll get this,” and I’ve literally looked around uncomfortably and wondered why they would think that.
I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m just a girl who digs through other people’s discarded clothing and sells it on the internet.
and then the other day it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Forget that lie, I am a freaking bad-a. A few years ago I was miserable at a job that I loved but was overworked, underpaid and felt unappreciated. I finally got the courage to quit that job. Landed in another job I hated. Quit that to nanny full time. and while nannying this precious baby boy, I realized… I cannot work for other people. I hate driving to work, I hate being at work, I hate thinking about going to work.
So I quit that and started doing something I LOVE – going to thrift stores and buying stuff I don’t need… but not to keep, to sell.
and now when family needs help, I can provide it. If friends want to get coffee mid-day, I can accommodate it. If I want to fly to Nashville for two and a half weeks…
I don’t have to request time off from anybody except Justen.
I AM FREE, Y’ALL!
Here’s the thing, though. I spent YEARS – literally YEARS – trying to figure out what job I wanted, applying for jobs for the money, and feeling absolutely miserable. Every time Ernie would talk to me about taking a leap of faith and quitting my job, I would give a zillion reasons why I couldn’t do it and I’d hide underneath a cloak of fear.
and now as I think about the past year, deciding not to “get” a job at some point, I realize how heavy my weights were.
I spent a LONG time listening to CAN’T.
I CAN’T quit my job.
I CAN’T trust myself.
I CAN’T make as much money as I do.
I CAN’T sustain something.
I CAN’T this or that.
But “CAN’T” was really a less vulnerable way of saying “I’m scared to…” and I KNOW there are people who can relate to that list, as well as add a crap ton more, and I have a few words I want to tell you.
and you can, scared.
and you can, scared and uncertain.
and you can, scared and uncertain and overwhelmed.
Don’t be stupid about it. Don’t leap before you look a little. Plan a little. Save some money, make a plan, recruit support, take some time to cry for a whole day
and then do it. Scared, uncertain and overwhelmed. Whatever “it” is. You know deep in your soul. Your “it” might be a little vague, like mine (I can’t work for someone else), so you might need to get creative.
Do it WHILE you plan. Do it WHILE you save. Do it WHILE you’re recruiting support and do it WHILE you cry for days at a time.
I never would have believed in myself a fraction of what I do had my friend Ernie not spent so much time encouraging me, pouring into me and celebrating me when I finally did it.
Not everybody has an Ernie in their corner, so I wanted to take a minute to root you on. You CAN sell that smudge-proof lipstick. You CAN start a t-shirt company. You CAN build an online consulting business. You CAN do the thing that makes you forget that making money used to suck. You have within you the ability to take time off without submitting a request.
This is just your friendly reminder than you CAN, you DESERVE IT, and it’s there for the taking. Sparkle on, my friends.
For WEEKS, I’ve been telling Justen it’s time to put away our “spring” sign (it’s literally the only spring decoration we have) and he’s kept saying “it’s still spring!” and now it is FINALLY and OFFICIALLY summer.
This is what summer makes me feel like:
Like. haayyyy this is living!!!!
As John Mayer sings, a little bit of summer’s what the whole year’s all about. There is so much I want to do this first summer of being married, especially since I spent last summer in Nashville. Not that I didn’t do cool things while in Nashville, because I definitely did.
But! Here’s my 2018 Summer Bucket List. I did one of these a few years ago, but here’s another one.
SO! How are y’all feeling about summer?! what’s on your bucket list for this sunniest season of 2018?!
Today I had this brilliant idea to clean out the pantry, which was the only thing on our to do list. Not that there’s nothing else to do, it’s just that it’s the only thing we’d written down.
As I was organizing something on the top shelf, as if in slow motion, the bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce was knocked over and fell to the floor, which popped off the top and sent hot sauce LITERALLY FLYING ALL OVER THE KITCHEN. I seriously found hot sauce like 5 feet away.
I hate hot sauce.
I hate the smell. I hate the taste. In fact, the ONLY REASON I buy this is so we can make buffalo sauce. I NEVER use this on its own.
And suddenly it was all over my (new) pants, my (just washed) favorite shirt, and my freshly showered feet. I reeked of hot sauce. The kitchen reeked of hot sauce. and my plans of quickly organizing the pantry and and being on my way slowly slipped away.
I rolled my eyes, took a picture for good measure, and then realized there was nothing to do but clean it up.
There’s been a LOT of stuff in my life that I just don’t like but lately have felt covered in. Like gravity and a bump of the elbow, things beyond my control have fallen at my feet and it’s been up to me to mouth-breathe my way through cleaning up a mess that makes me gag.
As I stood there, eyes straight up rolled to the ceiling, I realized that sometimes my tendency is to walk out of the room when gravity pulls crap to the floor in front of me. I like to just say “I didn’t do this,” and refuse to address my responsibility to clean it, regardless of if I “DID” it or not. Sometimes if you stop and look around and there’s no other party to clean up the mess, job’s on you. Not because you DID anything, but because there are consequences to walking away (like even smellier hot sauce, sticky floors, hot sauce foot prints in every room of the apartment).
So here’s to being responsible and putting things on hold to tend to messes that fall at our feet regardless of our participation in the making of them.
For whatever reason, I feel like I kind of got back into a blogging groove.
I’m planning on switching things up on the blog – I know, I know, I’m always planning on that – but this one is in preparation of ending the year not as Stephanie Orefice any more (cue the sobs and drop me a line to tell me how y’all handled changing your name after you got married!). Because of that, I’ve been deep into the shopping around for a new theme and designing some new looks and stuff. Which means I’ve been looking at my blog a LOT, and I’ve been kind of falling back in love with it.
So today I wanted to bring you FIVE of my FAVORITE things at the moment.
I connected with Allyson on Instagram late last year, and I have LOVED watching her product catalog grow and have been waiting to order some stuff from her online, and then we got coffee and she brought me an adorable mug + some goodies.
The adorable mug:
Also, adorable us. 🙂 and YES, Allyson was wearing a Printable Happies shirt and I thought that was the CUTEST THING EVER.
She showed me a product she was about to launch and I literally lost my mind. I texted Justen IMMEDIATELY and told him I’d be buying one for us. She launched them early yesterday and I 100% purchased this door mat because IT IS PERFECT.
Um… right? You can buy it + peruse her other great stuff on her Etsy store here (and tell her I sent ya’!).
002. ALL THINGS HARRY POTTER
Yeah, so I just finished the Harry Potter series and I’ve been writing a blog post about that for next week, but I’m seriously all about Harry Potter. Let’s talk Harry, Hogwarts, Hallows, Hagrid, Hermoine, Horcruxes… help me out, what other H words? Horace Slughorn? Herbology? Hit me with all the H HP words!
Justen and I are going to go to Universal Studios on our honeymoon (WHICH MEANS THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER) and I’m EVEN MORE excited than I was before, if that’s possible. I canNOT wait to try some butterbeer!
003. MY NEW POLYMAILERS
Super lame, I know but I am OBSESSED with the polymailers I got for my Poshmark sales. I’ve been playing with fire and maintaining two inventories, one here in Nash and one in Vancouver, hoping that nobody will bundle any items from the two. Once people starting purchasing from my inventory here, I had to pick up some polymailers because the big post office boxes were NOT cutting it. I was torn between these and watermelon ones, but I’m SO GLAD I got these. How pretty are they?! Heart eyes emoji.
004. HOMEMADE MOCHA ISAGENIX SHAKES
Late May I signed up for Isagenix and have been using their shakes throughout my day. I started with the Vanilla Chai and HATED the chocolate ones, but I started substituting the water for cold coffee and OMG. It’s like having my own mocha shake! They recently released a mocha flavored shake, and I bought two canisters… wasn’t that impressed. My homemade mocha shake is where it’s at. Also… I’m not going to be salesy about Isagenix or anything but if you ever want to chat about it, I’d love to talk to you about it and I know someone who is a fountain of Isagenix wealth. Even if you want your own protein powder… forgo the water and mix with chocolate and you’re welcome.
005. WEDDING SHOES
Y’all I am OBSESSED with trying to find my wedding shoes. I found a pair of Topshop gold glitter shoes for sale on Poshmark and LOST MY MIND, but they weren’t in my size and I couldn’t find them in my size ugh. So then I decided to just start trying to find a good pair of wedding shoes. I found some and went back and they’d sold out… and weren’t available online! Help a sister out – hit me up with ALL the pink or gold glittery shoes. I don’t necessarily want flats, but they can be flat. I never knew something like this would be such a hassle! I’m LOVING getting to see all of the pretty options, though!
Alright. I’m out. What are a few of your favorite things at the moment? ANYTHING. Foods, outfits, smells, pictures… drop me a line and let me know!
Often, I’ll stumble upon articles that encourage you to remember that social media isn’t a real depiction of everyday life. Someone will talk about how we stage our pictures, focus on the ultra-positive, and totally dismiss any of the hard stuff in our lives.
I’m going to stand up right now and admit that my social media is not a completely true, accurate reflection of who I am. It is 100% true in what you see, but it’s not 100% true for the whole me. That sounds like it could be a rap song, just saying.
I scrolled through my Facebook Timeline. Wedding-related pictures (asking my flower girls, buying the dress) and Mean Girls stuff, elephants and sparkly things shared by my friends, an alert about Starbucks having toasted coconut syrup, and some pictures of kids I love.
All of that is me. I don’t ever want people to think that I don’t wholly love all of those things.
But what you don’t see is that I’ve stopped posting pictures of myself because I’ve gained so much weight I hate having my pictures taken. I have so much stuff and clutter in my life that I frequently have sobbing fits of overwhelm but I don’t have the time to do much about it because I’m so tired when I get home from work.
You don’t regularly see that I ran into a pro-Trump rally when I was at the Farmer’s Market and started crying, that I question the divisive nature of the current ‘United’ States of America. You don’t see that I don’t know where I stand with hot button issues, that I stopped going to church, that there are a lot of deaths in the families of people I love, that I rarely spend time with people who aren’t Justen and that I don’t really journal anymore.
But you also didn’t see me post about being engaged. I didn’t post about my best friend coming to town to help me pick out my wedding dress. I haven’t posted that I’m moving to Nashville for the summer, or that I drove to camp to ask two sweet girls to be my flower girls. I didn’t share that Rhoda sent me a wonderful card of congratulations, that Justen and I went to Target and registered, and I just found a pair of LuLaRoe leggings in my size AND a pretty peach color for $4.99 at Goodwill.
That’s kind of me and my life in a nutshell, and not much of it is seen on social media.
As I scrolled through my timeline one day I realized that if someone who didn’t know me looked at my timeline, I probably seemed like a happy-go-lucky, light-hearted, optimistic, fun girl. At times I can be those things, but I’m most often pessimistic, judgmental, tired, and timid.
The thing is, I just don’t think those parts of me – the parts I struggle with, the parts I work on and hope to change – belong on social media, because while social media is comprised of my close friends, it’s also comprised of people who don’t know me and haven’t earned the right to see the dark and twisty side of who I am.
I don’t do it to make my life seem perfect or awesome or inspiring or anything, I do it because there’s a difference between being my Facebook friend and being my actual friend, and I reserve the right to keep the two separate, good and bad parts of life.
So there you have it.
I’m not myself on social media, and I don’t feel bad about it at all.